'Local home' planned in North York Moors could be forbidden from being holiday let

The difficulty of building houses to ensure people connected to a national park can continue living there has been highlighted as planning bosses recommended approving a scheme despite highways bosses maintaining it should be rejected on road safety grounds.

The North York Moors National Park Authority will next Thursday consider a proposal to build a stone house off Moor Lane, in Aislaby, which if given consent, would have a principal home restriction on it forbidding its use as a second home or holiday let.

The proposed home would be sited between two of six properties accessed off a small lane and ends at a disused quarry.

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The park authorty is working to increase access to housing for local people in the face of increasing numbers of second homes and holiday lets, a trend particularly affecting the park’s villages close to the coast, such as Aislaby.

A view across the Esk Valley from AislabyA view across the Esk Valley from Aislaby
A view across the Esk Valley from Aislaby

At its last meeting in December, several members of the authority’s planning committee expressed frustration after hearing the policies could block a young couple from the area from transforming and extending the redundant building on a farm in open countryside outside Castleton into a local occupancy home.

An officer’s report to Thursday’s meeting states the policies of the authority,, clearly state local needs and affordable housing will only be permitted on suitable small sites within the main built-up area of the village where additional development will respect the form and character of the settlement.

The report states whilst the principle and design of the proposed development is considered to be acceptable, North Yorkshire County Council’s highways officers have called for the scheme to be rejected.

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HIghways officers said the council’s design guide recommends that private drives should not serve as the vehicular access to more than five homes and the lane already serves six properties.

They said while the lane, which neighbours have said struggles to cope with existing vehicle use, would need to constructed up to adoptable standards, but the track is not wide enough to do so.

They added the poor condition and lack of footways, lighting or a turningarea made it unsuitable for the traffic which would be likely to be generated by the proposal.

A consultant’s report submitted by the applicants, who live next to the proposed site, suggests the access track could be improved by increasing the overall width of the track by removing some hedging – work which has been included as a condition if the scheme is approved.

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The planning officer’s report concludes proposed work to the track as a condition of the scheme would enhance the safety of current users aswell as the proposed home.

It adds: “Whilst it is appreciated that the access track, which currently serves six dwellings, does not meet the national standards as an access for five or more dwellings, the authority does not consider that a single additional dwelling would result in a detrimental impact on road safety…”

Planning officers said despite the road safety warnings, the overall balance of planning considerations weighed in favour of the scheme, particularly with the addition to the authority’s local occupancy housing stock.